West Virginia has been waiting since September 2012 for a response from the U.S. Department of Education for permission to move away from the No Child Left Behind system.
A formal announcement was scheduled for 2 p.m. May 20 at the State Capitol in Charleston for Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin, West Virginia Board of Education members and West Virginia Superintendent Jim Phares to discuss the approval of the state's flexibility waiver.
The Board of Education and Department of Education had requested the waiver to keep West Virginia schools from having to comply with certain federal rules and deadlines under the Elementary and Secondary Education Act, or No Child Left Behind Act.
The U.S. Department of Education rolled out the flexibility process in 2011, and states were required to show detailed plans for preparing all students for college and careers, how they would target federal aid to students who need it most and plans for better evaluation and support of teachers and principals all in exchange for that flexibility.
West Virginia BOE President Wade Linger said the approval will allow schools in West Virginia to increase the quality of their instruction and to enhance student achievement.
"Our plan gives schools, especially those struggling with low performance, the ability to focus on continual improvement in every classroom and at every programmatic level," Linger said in a news release.
The waivers will allow West Virginia to use its own accountability system to more effectively identify struggling schools, according to a news release from the WVDE, and to efficiently direct resources to struggling schools